Views garnered on draft of national media policy

Published On: July 15, 2016 07:25 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, July 15: Experts on media and political leaders have put forth their views on the draft of the national media policy today.

At the programme on 'proposed national media policy and structure of regulatory body' organized by the Ministry of Information and Communications and the High Level Committee on Media in the capital city, Speaker Onsari Gharti said she would prioritize the policy if it was brought accommodating the views and suggestions from diverse sectors which could be acceptable to all.

According to her, the media policy needs to reflect the changed context and duly address the working journalists' issues.

On the occasion, Minister for Information and Communications, Sherdhan Rai, said the media policy was brought addressing the entire media landscape of the country but not with interest of any political party, so recent political development does not affect it. "I hope the policy would be finalized by incorporating the positive suggestions from the experts," he said.

Similarly, former Minister for Information and Communications and central member of the Nepali Congress Dr Minendra Rijal said although the preliminary draft of the policy seemed good, some amendments could be made on it.

He argued that Online Media Operation Directive 2016 the government brought could have been brought not in line with Good Governance Act. Not control but regulation of media was judicious, he added.

CPN (UML) Secretaries Pradeep Kumar Gyawali and Yogesh Bhattarai expressed the view that the issues whether the media houses are income-oriented or service-oriented should be clear in the policy at a time when media houses have been emerged as industry.

Chairperson of the Women, Children, Senior Citizen and Social Welfare, Ranju Kumari Jha, CPN (Maoist Centre) Whip Sita Nepali, Federal Socialist Forum Nepal leader Dr Shivaji Yadav, lawmakers—Ramhari Khatiwada, Yogendra Chaudhary, Durga Poudel and Jakir Hussain, among others argued that the Media Policy was positive.

Committee Chairman Kashiraj Dahal said the Committee was expected to submit its report to the government soon. The report would be prepared being based on suggestions received from all sides.

FNJ President and Committee member Dr Mahendra Bista said the media policy has included matters relating to transparency of investment in media, working journalists and restructuring of media.

The Committee on May 23 had presented a 21-point preliminary report to the government, seeking the development of an information and communications system as a means of improving lifestyle of the people by institutionalising a democratic republic system. The preliminary report recommended for building an equitable and prosperous information society by adopting the proportional, inclusive and participatory approach. RSS 

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